On Persistence and Irony and Motivation in the Disconnect

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Gentle Readers,

Honestly, I haven’t been particularly motivated to either write or read – or queue up, even, my Netflix, which collect dust on the mantel. Part of this is my indefinite dwindling here in the Disconnect: socially and intellectually, sure, but Economically-with-a-capital-E by all means. And while wallowing is occasionally affixed by “in creative juices,” it really is reserved wholesale for Myspacers and teens and the sometimes-but-rare-Bukowski, and it is certainly not for me. I personally have come to rely on my environment; I mean, I need quiet and I need space and I need distance to stare-off into, I need a notebook that feels substantial and a black-ink pen. Most importantly – I need mornings.

But with finances just about done and through, I instead have been fretting about my part in a business world full of strangers and wrong ideas and cleanshaven folk and a fake-pleasant demeanor. I have been job searching and struggling against an abrasive pride and literary sense of the world where Work is an extension of Who-You-Are and not, instead, a Who-You-Know, particularly because I prefer to not rub elbows and, like I said above, maintain space. So I have been, too, weathering down my graduate-school portfolio and the paperwork application (very gradschool-like) to Air Force Officer Training School – and I haven’t been writing or reading.

But Writers Digest Saturday mailed me its previous issue I failed to receive in moving, and I was stricken to read on page eighteen that “[David J. Schwartz] is shopping his next novel, Goblin Market (named after the Christina Rossetti poem of the same title), which Schwartz calls ‘a punk-rock-meets-fairy novel.'” That’s my idea you goddamn geek. I seethe. Although mine is a youth-oriented scary long-poem about the human textile market (what Rossetti’s Goblin Market would have become by the twenty-first century) and, except for the word “fairy,” shares nothing with Schwartz’s (which I am sure will be a great read), I am put off. In all fairness, this really is only a matter of what I meant to call it (and Rossetti beat me to it by a hundred years) – but still.

The irony is that the headline of the article is “The Power of Persistence” (Writers Digest June 2008 ) and is about the six-year toil in Schwartz’s novel-making, about overcoming block and churning sweat in writing, which comes after a sickly two weeks of my Not-Writing that seems to be a poignant jab supplemented with a response to an inquiry I had made concerning the county public library’s need for a new children’s lib. tech (I type with crossed fingers!), going

 Michael,

If you are not a resident of Bradford County, you are not familiar with this, but Bradford County (the government of) has a really bad reputation for “it’s not what you know, but who you know” hiring.
 
Some of this is valid because the constitutional officers, the Clerk of Court, the Sheriff, the Supervisor of Elections, the Property Appraiser, the Tax Collector, etc, can hire (and fire) anyone they want to under different rules from the ones the County Commission has to follow.
 
However, over the years I have felt it best to have no contact with applicants until the job notice closes and I see the applications. As a result, I feel that the library is not tainted with the same brush the rest of the county is.
 
So, you will not hear from me again until after the job notice closes. I hope you understand.

 And this is Irony. At once refreshing and disconcerting, it is a welcome reprimand when all I’ve heard since coming to the Disconnect is “here, it is all politics, kid,” but somehow (seemingly) levied fatewise.

It is all persistence and babble, timeline and deadline: work is work and writing is Work – and it should be; the process it burns the fat off your soul,  but I begin to mistake the six months of it for something flesh eating.

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